Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Okay, Austin Powers references aside. So, as most of you already know, Connecticut really really likes weed. Like, more than half of the state wants to legally toke it up.
New Canaan Advertiser got their hands on a poll sponsored by Sacred Heart University and GreatBlue Research. Basically, they asked a bunch of residents if they support legalizing marijuana As it turns out, way more than half gave a green thumbs up.
Out of 1,000 random residents, 71 percent of them want the state to legalize and tax weed. That’s way more than 2015’s poll, where 63 percent of respondents gave high praise for the green stuff.
So now, about two out of three residents want marijuana to become the state’s newest source of revenue. And, if you think about it, it’s pretty genius.
Not everyone smokes weed but it’s a major industry in states that legalized it. Basically, it’s a tax that not everyone has to pay. Just those who partake in a good smoke now and then.
Which, if you really put your brain into critical thinking mode, is not the case with tolls. Because tolls affect everyone. The money spent by families driving to work trickles down and impacts spending.
Legalizing weed won’t cause people to stop spending. In fact, it’ll encourage people to spend MORE by also attracting out-of-state residents.
Like, here’s an example on how it works.
I studied abroad in Belgium in 2009, which borders the Netherlands. AKA, a country where one could easily buy weed by visiting a “coffee shop.” So, what would a bunch of 20/21-year-old students do on a weekend? Take the train up to Amsterdam or bike the two hours to Maastricht.
So, apply that to Connecticut potentially legalizing weed and suddenly residents from neighboring states will want to visit. And, by doing so, inspires them to spend more in our state by visiting local attractions and consuming our produce.
Who wants to bet someone on a CT weed tour wouldn’t want to visit our vineyards or breweries?
Because in Colorado, the weed industry generated a tremendous $1.3 billion for the state. In doing so, it fed an additional $200 million in tax revenue back into state coffers.
On top of that, it took pressure off the state’s prison and court system. So, there’s a positive trickle-down effect. People will choose to spend the money on something recreational, which will create more jobs by stimulating growth.
Whereas tolls, you’ll see people button up their spending even more. Which could negatively impact the hospitality and retail labor force.
Anyways, here’s how the rest of the poll breaks down.
The younger crowd seemed way more excited about legalizing weed than the older folks. 83.2 percent of those under 35 supported marijuana legalization. For those over 55, that number came to 59.6 percent.
When it came to parents with young kids, they supported legalization by a whopping 73.6 percent.
Sam Tracy, director of the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana, says this survey should serve as a wake up call to our legislators:
“Elected officials should listen to their constituents and legalize marijuana in Connecticut, rather than continue to ignore this source of new jobs, new tax revenue, and improved public health. This is a clear mandate for the legislature to enact sensible marijuana laws to help the state create a workable budget.”
On top of that, our neighbor up north, Massachusetts, overwhelmingly approved of legalizing weed. Considering their fiscal health is way better than ours, we should take notes.
Because, if Connecticut doesn’t legalize, residents will take their tax dollars up north and bolster their economy. Which, could pivot back and punch ours in the throat.
Why our money hungry legislators continue to stall on the issue is above me. If they’re that desperate for extra revenue to the point they want to put a monthly surcharge on our cellphones, they should legalize weed. Because they’ll actually do their jobs by listening to their constituents.
When nearly three quarters of CT want legal weed, our lawmakers should listen.
I know for a fact I will never smoke because it’s my personal choice. But I fully support legalizing weed and regulating/taxing it like alcohol. Even I, who never smoked a blunt in her life because I’m secretly a square, can see it.
And for those who say the weed bubble will burst, history isn’t on your side.
Shakespeare himself was high as a kite when he wrote some of his most famous works. I mean, it’s kinda obvious anyway. But, now we have proof.
And, if we jump back to the time before Jesus roamed the earth on his T-Rex, ancient civilizations also enjoyed some reefer madness now and then.
Either way, if Connecticut truly wants to reap some major money, it needs to jump on the legalization train before it falls behind. As of now, only a few states said yes to weed, but you know more will follow suit in the next few years.
And, if we beat the pack, we’ll reap the rewards.
Do you think Connecticut will legalize weed soon or do you think we’ll drop the ball on this? What do you think we’ll see first: marijuana or tolls?